Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jail for Couple Whose Baby Died While They Raised Online Child

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- A couple whose baby starved to death while they raised a virtual child in an online fantasy game was sentenced Friday, their defense attorney said.

Prosecutors at Suwon District Court had sought a five-year sentence for negligent homicide, but the court handed out a two-year sentence.

Sentence was suspended for the female defendant, Kim Yun-jeong, 25, who is expecting the couple's daughter in August. Her partner, Kim Jae-beom, 41, will serve two years.

The unmarried couple's defense attorney said he was satisfied with the sentence.

"This is the first legal case regarding Internet addiction in Korea," said Kim Dong-young, a lawyer with the Korean Legal Aid Corp. "I am pleased that the female defendant's Internet addiction was taken into consideration, and she was bailed."

Three-month-old Kim Sa-rang died of malnutrition in September while her parents were engaged in 12-hour sessions of Prius Online. In the 3-D fantasy game, players nurture an online girl who gains magical powers as she grows.

Kim's mother is a former factory worker while her father is a taxi and truck driver.

During their trial, the court heard that the toddler weighed 6.4 pounds (2.9 kgs) when she was born, but was only 5.5 pounds (2.5 kgs) at the time of her death.

The trial was in March, but sentencing was delayed after the court requested a psychological examination of the mother. Both defendants appeared contrite during the trial, with the mother frequently breaking down in tears.

Internet gaming is hugely popular in South Korea, with some 21,500 'PC Bangs' -- or Internet cafes -- offering ultra-high speed Internet connections nationwide.

The case has highlighted the dark side of the nation's Internet, an industry touted by South Korean officials as cutting edge. A public debate is under way in the nation over online privacy and regulating Internet rumors.

There is particular concern about gaming addiction and its effects on teenagers and those estranged from mainstream society. "Consequently, it comes as no surprise to me that two people who were disconnected from society in general found a common psychological space that kept them physically and socially divorced from reality," said Tom Coyner, Seoul-based author of "Mastering Business in Korea."

Suwon, the satellite town south of Seoul where the tragedy occurred, was named "Intelligent City of the Year" this month by a New York-based think-tank Intelligent Community Forum.

The honor was awarded because of the town's investment in broadband infrastructure and its push to increase connection speeds to 1 gigabyte per second, according to reports.

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper, You Will Be Missed..

Dennis Hopper Dies at Age 74

Dennis Hopper, the director, star and co-writer of "Easy Rider" and an edgy actor in numerous other films, has died at age 74 after a lengthy illness, his production company Easy Rider Productions confirmed.

Hopper died at 8:15 a.m. PT at his home in Venice, Calif., from complications of prostate cancer, a friend, Alex Hitz, told the Reuters news service.

Though he may be best known for "Easy Rider," the 1969 cult classic, Hopper's film and television career extended back into the 1950s and he stayed active up until recently.

He also was considered something of a Hollywood wild man, whose battles with drugs, alcohol and erratic behavior may have helped stall his career in periods both before and after "Easy Rider."

Nevertheless, he enjoyed an acting comeback in the 1980s and afterwards on the strength of films such as "Apocalypse Now" (1979), "Rumble Fish" (1983) and "Blue Velvet" (1986).

Despite his declining condition in recent months, Hopper recently appeared in Hollywood to receive a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in March. Surrounded by his children and colleagues, the actor appeared to be in good spirits, smiling, laughing and waving.

"Everything I learned in life I learned from you," he told a crowd of supporters at the star ceremony, referring to Hollywood. "This means so much to me. Thank you very much everyone, and Hollywood."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman Dead of Intercranial Hemorrage The famous child star passed away after a severe head injury he sustained at his home in Utah caused bleeding in his brain and described as an intercranial hemorrage and a epidural hematoma.

Gary Coleman, who was so funny in the TV show sitcom Diff'rent Strokes (1978 - 1986), became something of a sideshow later in life. In part, his small stature, his parents, and his anger issues, and Coleman's celebrity mixed together to produce what from a distance looked like a terrible life. The Lord called Gary Coleman away from that mess on Friday.

Gary Coleman has openly said his parents did not treat him correctly. Edmonia Sue and W.G. Coleman adopted Coleman and from all accounts they did not care about him at all. Gary sued them for "misappropriation of funds" and they counter-sued for defamation and breach of contract. Consider that there's no record that Coleman knew who his real parents were and the people who took him in as his adopted parents, took his money from his work.

Coleman sued them, won, and was awarded $1.3 million. But nothing could recover the emotional damage Coleman sustained from four years of battling with his parents. The reason why Gary Coleman had the problems the public has been exposed to was because he had no solid family base around him. No real parents, brothers or sisters, cousins, or aunts and uncles. No one who cared.

Gary's marriage to Shannon Price was probably the best thing that could have happened to Coleman, but his anger problems threatened to destroy it too. In an effort to save their marriage Coleman and Price went on the show Divorce Court, where Coleman said this:

"I don't have any friends and don't have any intention of making any. People will stab you in the back, mistreat you, talk about me behind your back, steal from you. And they're not really your friends. (They're) only there because you're a celebrity or because they want to get something from you."

And this statement from the NY Daily News explains why the Lord took him on Friday:

"It's not her fault," he says. "I always feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders every day I get up. ... There are days I don't even want to get up."

On Friday, Gary Coleman got his wish.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Amber Dubois' Dad to John Gardner III: "He Will Burn in Hell"

SAN DIEGO (CBS/AP) Amber Dubois' father minced no words with his daughter's killer.

"He will burn in hell for the acts he's committed," Maurice Dubois said during the sentencing of John Gardner III in a California court Friday.

Gardner was sentenced to three life sentences without possibility of parole for raping and killing Amber Dubois, 14, and Chelsea King, 17.

Chelsea's mother, Kelly King, demanded the killer's attention.

"Look at me," she said before describing her beloved daughter.

"Chelsea was a sweet, loving, and innocent soul who could not have fathomed the wretched piece of evil that ended her life that day," said Kelly King.

Tears streamed down Gardner's face.

"Chelsea was everything this man was not," said her father Brent King. "She was as good as this man is evil."

One by one, each parent came to the podium to address the man that stole their daughters.

"I truly hope he suffers a hundred times the amount of pain he caused our families," Amber Dubois' father said. "I just hope that day is an agonizingly long way away, and that he will have to suffer as much as we all have."

Superior Court Judge David Danielsen sentenced Gardner, 31, to two life terms without parole for the rape and murder of both Amber Dubois and Chelsea King, and a third life term for the attempted rape of Candice Moncayo, a jogger who managed to escape Gardner's attack by elbowing him in the nose.

Chelsea King, a straight A high school student, went missing Feb. 25, 2010 while running in a San Diego park. Her body was found five days later in a shallow grave by a lake. Amber Dubois went missing one year earlier almost to the day. Her skeletal remains were found soon after Chelsea King's.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Judge: Death Penalty Not Sexist in Anthony Case

(CNN) -- Casey Anthony will face the death penalty, a Florida judge ruled, rejecting defense arguments that capital punishment in her murder case was sexist and unduly harsh.

Judge Belvin Perry Jr. also rejected defense arguments that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty as a means to bankrupt Anthony's defense.

The judge did grant one defense request -- that prosecutors disclose evidence supporting the aggravating factors they intend to cite if Anthony is convicted of premeditated murder and they ask jurors to return a death sentence.

In death penalty cases, jurors are asked to weigh aggravating circumstances that make a crime especially heinous against mitigating factors that favor the defendant, such as a lack of prior offenses.

Anthony, 24, is accused of killing her daughter, Caylee, who was 2 when she disappeared in June 2008. Caylee's body was found that December in a vacant lot near the Orlando, Florida, home where she lived with her grandparents.

Casey Anthony's trial is scheduled to begin on May 9, 2011.

The defense maintains that prosecutors had originally said they would not seek death in the Anthony case but reversed that position in March 2009 when they learned that Anthony had $205,000 for her defense.

The bulk of the money came from ABC News for the licensing of photos and videos, Baez testified during a previous hearing.

"The court has the authority to bar the death penalty where the prosecution exercises its discretion in bad faith, for impermissible motives and in order to prevent the defendant from exercising her constitutional rights," the defense argued in court papers.

Judge Perry denied the motion, saying that judges are prohibited under Florida law from interfering with the state's decision to seek death. Although one exception includes circumstances in which bad faith can be documented, Perry said Anthony's defense had not proven bad faith.

The defense also argued that prosecutors sought the death penalty against Anthony because she is a woman, and that focusing on Anthony's lifestyle before she was arrested is gender bias.

Defense witness Elizabeth Rapaport, a University of New Mexico law professor and author, testified that the lifestyles of white middle-class mothers charged with killing their children receive much more media attention than those of defendants in other cases.

Under questioning by Anthony attorney Andrea Lyon, a nationally known death penalty expert, Rapaport said a mother perceived as "deviant" by a jury has a more difficult time defending herself.

Anthony teared up when Lyon noted in court that despite her client's "party girl" reputation in the media, most of the witnesses have acknowledged that "Caylee was happy and healthy."

"Do you have any evidence that there is gender bias in this case?" prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked Rapaport in cross-examination. The witness responded that she didn't know much about this case and had only read a few press reports.

The defense argued that Anthony is facing more serious charges and harsher punishment than a man in the same position would receive.

Responding to Ashton's questions, Rapaport said that men who kill their children usually are acting in a rage.

Women, Ashton argued, tend to premeditate a child's killing and have underlying psychological issues. Cases in which women kill without evidence of psychological disturbance are rare, he added.

"In my 30 years" as a prosecutor, Ashton said, "this is the first time we have had the evidence for the jury to determine if death is the appropriate penalty."

Guilty Plea in Death of 8-Year-Old

(CNN) -- A former Sunday School teacher pleaded guilty to murder Monday in the death of an 8-year-old girl, a court official said.

Melissa Huckaby pleaded guilty in the death of Sandra Cantu, a friend of her daughter's who disappeared in Tracy, California, in March 2009.

Her body was found about 10 days later in a suitcase submerged in a pond on a dairy farm.

Prosecutors had charged Huckaby with murder, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, and rape by instrument. They were seeking the death penalty.

Huckaby will face a sentence of from 25 years to life in prison without parole when she is sentenced June 14, said Sharon Morris, assistant administrator for San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Missing Family Seen with Map?

CNN- The brother of a Southern California man who disappeared along with his entire family reported a possible new lead in the three-month-old mystery.

Michael McStay said he learned through an investigator that a waiter believed he served Joseph McStay, his wife, Summer McStay, and their children, Gianni, 4, and Jospeh, 3, at a restaurant in Guerrero Negro, Mexico in late February or early March.

Guerrero Negro is a city in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.

According to Michael McStay, he recalled that the family left behind a map. McStay said he did not know any further details about the map. He said it was handed over to the FBI, who did not return calls for a comment.

McStay also said the waiter commented at the time on what he thought was a bump on the little boy’s head. It was actually a birthmark, Mcstay said.

McStay told CNN that the waiter remembered that Joseph McStay “looked ill, he looked sick.”
“My understanding was in the last year he’d been having these vertigo type symptoms,” McStay said. “He was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and on the (February) 4, he was talking to my mother and he had to pull over when he was driving home because he felt vertigo type symptoms.”

The Mcstays have not been seen or heard from since February 4.

Information gathered on the McStay's home computer reveal the couple was making travel inquires about Mexico on the internet a week before they were reported missing, authorities said.

“It had to do with travel in Mexico with children and whether you needed to have passports for children,” Lt. Dennis Brugos, of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said. “It looks as if there were some planning.”

Their two dogs were found unattended without food or water in the Mcstay’s San Diego house, investigators said.

An SUV belonging to the McStays was found abandoned on February 8 just two blocks from the San Ysidro border checkpoint, authorities said.

Surveillance video taken that evening appears to show the family “casually” walking into Mexico, the sheriff’s department said.

Michael McStay does not understand why his brother would, it appears, voluntarily abandon their life in the U.S.

“It’s like they are afraid of something,” he said. “That’s what to me it appears to me.”

“What I can’t gather is what’s compelling him to go down there…I can’t figure it out.”

Joseph McStay is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Summer McStay, also known as Lisa Aranda-Martelli, is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the McStay family is urged to contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at 858-565-5200. Anonymous calls can be made to 888-580-8477.

Belle Harbor, NY Plane Crash...

American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300, crashed into the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens; a borough of New York City in New York, United States, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on November 12, 2001. This is the second deadliest U.S. aviation accident to date, after American Airlines Flight 191.

Trend Investigated After 7 Kids Die in Latest Attack on Chinese Kindergarten

Fox News- It's a parent's worst nightmare. And it's becoming a nightmare for China.

An attacker with a cleaver hacked to death seven children and two adults at a kindergarten in northwest China on Wednesday, the latest in a string of savage assaults on the country's schools. Eleven other children were wounded.

This latest incident at a kindergarten in northwest China was the fifth major attack on children in a couple of months.

Each assault involved a lone male.

Wednesday's killer, 48-year-old Wu Huanming, returned home after the attack on the outskirts of the city of Hanzhong and committed suicide, the local government reported.

Sociologists suggest it could be caused by a lack of help for the mentally ill in the country and also in part caused by therising stress levels caused by inequalities in Chinese society as some prosper and many struggle.

For someone who has visited China frequently over the past 20 years I have seen dramatic changes but it's nothing to what the people there must have felt.

Going from Maoist uniforms and bicycles to Gucci hand bags and Mercedes in a few short years would be a shock to anyone.

And it's probably an even bigger shock to the Chinese in comparison to other societies as its people have come out of a life that always prided itself during the Maoist years on equality and lack of materialism.

Of course as you travel in China it's easy to see the difference now between the upwardly mobile and those fighting to survive.

Amongst the glittering skyscrapers of Beijing or Shanghai there is sometimes a glimpse of the struggles many are facing.

Once I saw workers, all men, fighting their way to the front of a crowd to get a ticket off a foreman to get work for the day, perhaps at a building site.

There are also unbelievable pressures on Chinese men to be successful now.

China's one child policy has created a disproportionate number of males to females as Chinese families traditionally favor boys.

At a basic level the chinese male is now competing with a lot more males to be successful, get a bride and have a family.

It doesn't, of course, explain these series of attacks on children.

But it's not something that is unique to China.

Japan has had similar cases in the past.

The Chinese authorities seem to be trying to downplay the incidents in the media.

Their defense being that they don't want to start a wave of panic, and some experts in China say coverage could also inspire copycat attacks.

Landslide Swallows Canadian Home: Bodies of Family of Four Recovered from Sinkhole Wreckage

NY Daily News- A family of four was found dead in their basement after their farmhouse was swallowed into the earth by a massive sinkhole.

The bodies of Richard Prefontaine, his wife, Line, and their two young daughters, Anais and Amelie, were pulled from the wreckage in St. Jude, Quebec, a day after Monday night's flash landslide, the Toronto Star reported.

"After digging and going through the rubble we found the four victims," Michel Dore, Quebec's emergency management coordinator, told reporters Tuesday night. "They were found very close to one another, some of them lying on the couch in the family room in the basement."

Quebec police said the resulting crater is 500 meters by 100 meters (1,640 feet by 330 feet) wide and 30 meters (98 feet) deep, Canada's Globe and Mail reported.

The sole survivor of the tragedy seems to be one of the family's two dogs, which rescue workers found alive outside the home.

"It was like an earthquake," a neighbor, Herman Gagnon, told the Montreal Gazette. Gagnon drove from his home toward town to see what had happened - a drive that took him past the Prefontaine home.

"It was only when I approached the edge of the crevice that I realized what happened," he said.

As Vote Looms, Northern California Ponders How to Peddle Legal Pot

Eureka, California (CNN) -- Tony Smithers has been answering a lot of questions lately about marijuana.

Over coffee at Ramone's Bakery & Cafe, he was polite but mildly irked to be fielding queries about a substance the federal government outlaws.

Smithers, the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau's executive director, would rather talk about the county's other natural resources: its forests, its rolling mountains, its 110 miles of coastline.

But with legalization on a statewide November ballot and with Humboldt situated in the Emerald Triangle, so named for its massive marijuana output, there have been distractions of late.

"You see my card and my badge? They have a redwood, not a marijuana leaf," Smithers said with a chuckle as he sat down.

Figures for the region's marijuana economy are hazy, but drive through towns in Humboldt or Mendocino counties and it's easy to see marijuana's importance to regional commerce. Head and hemp shops sit alongside cafes and eateries, and niche businesses -- like glassblowers who specialize in smoking apparatuses -- are more common here than in cities 10 or 20 times the size.

Though Smithers touts Humboldt's timber, dairy and grass-fed beef, he readily admits that marijuana is his county's No. 1 export.

"Oh hell yeah, by a long shot," said Smithers, who has lived in Humboldt for 15 years. "It's the elephant in the room up here."

People smoke weed relatively freely on the streets of Arcata, Redway, Garberville and Ukiah, and bartenders in Eureka said they see plenty of "pot tourists" drawn to the region's high-grade marijuana. Some travel from as far away as Massachusetts and New Jersey, one bartender said.

The questions asked of Smithers lately revolve around such travelers and whether Humboldt should reach out to stoners if voters pass an initiative that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.

"My approach is to have that marketing plan in the bottom drawer of my desk and not show it to anybody until we see what's going to happen and which way the wind is blowing," Smithers said.

Recent polls say 56 percent of Californians favor taxing and regulating the plant. The national approval rate is much lower -- as low as a third, by some estimates.

No matter what voters decide, a federal ban will persist. Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama's drug czar, said marijuana legalization is out of the question, "a nonstarter." He said he would not speculate on the government's response should California legalize recreational use.

"Essentially, we know that with legal alcohol and legal tobacco, history shows that if it's legally available, use will increase," he said. "If you have a greater number of users, you have an increase in social, health care and criminal costs."

Though marijuana's future in California is murky, Smithers made some observations on how Emerald Triangle growers could market their wares.

He's heard proposals that the region should become the "Napa Valley of Marijuana," complete with tours and tasting rooms. Such notions presume a lot of infrastructure and entrepreneurship, he said.

"You have to have an experience," he said. "If you want to have a premium price for your product, you have to have a cachet, don't you?"

Therein lies the rub, said Anna Hamilton, a DJ for KMUD Community Radio who recently hosted a panel titled, "Life After Legalization: Marijuana Enters the Mainstream."

Hamilton knows plenty of growers and said she has her own legal medical marijuana plot at her northern Mendocino County home. She worries that with marijuana's stigma and federal laws prohibiting it, corporations will be reluctant to pump money into infrastructure serving the marijuana economy.

She doesn't think the necessary money can be generated locally, either, she said.

Northern California has already seen "a devastating effect from the medical marijuana flood" after the state passed Proposition 215 in 1996, Hamilton said. Prices for primo pot dropped precipitously, and growers in the Emerald Triangle fear a pound that once sold for as much as $6,000 in the '80s will be worth less than $2,000 if California voters OK adult recreational use.

"We're going to be a ghost town here," Hamilton said between bites of cheeseburger at a Redway restaurant.

There are potential pitfalls to modeling your industry after the state's thriving wine industry, said Terry Hall, spokesman for the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Despite the prominence of the region's name, Hall said, Napa produces only 4 percent of California's wine. Without a doubt, the 30-mile-long river valley is prime grape-growing turf. With its abundant soil variations and elevations spanning 4,000 feet, farmers can grow grapes ranging from Riesling to cabernet.

The vintners association lobbies and litigates to protect Napa, which is part of a federally designated American Viticultural Area, Hall said.

But predating the association's vigilance was an agreement among Napa wineries that they would promote the region before their own brands. This grape game theory is how a relatively small wine region ended up with such an iconic name, Hall said.

At the very least, Northern California's pot growers should seek similar pacts to protect and promote potential brands like Humboldt, Mendocino or Emerald Triangle, he said.

"They need to have some sort of camaraderie in terms of what your mission is, come out of hiding, be proud of your product," he said. "It will be a huge marketing endeavor to come out from under cover. They will be smart, I think, if they form these alliances earlier."

Hall has his doubts that Napa's model would work for marijuana and asks: Are distillery tours big business in rum-producing countries? Does North Carolina have tobacco tastings?

"It'll be interesting to see how they market to the masses," Hall said.

Smithers said the convention and visitors bureau would never disenchant visitors coming to the region for its hiking, rafting, fishing or bird watching, but he concedes that a day may come when the bureau has to address cannabis commerce.

Right now, however, his focus is on establishing a National Heritage Area that would emphasize the region's natural resources and its "history of conservation and environmentalism," he said.

Marijuana growers might be smart to capture a similar vibe, he said. After Northern California's fishing and logging industries began to falter, "urban refugees" flocked to the region in the 1960s.

"They need to recapture the sense of freedom and possibility that the '60s were all about," Smithers said. "I would capture that hippie mystique. This is a tie-dye market."

Pressed a fourth and final time over coffee, Smithers again graciously dodged specific questions about how he might market marijuana. However, he realizes that people are watching California. He sees an opportunity, regardless of the referendum's fate.

"The country and world will be looking at us over this, so I need to parlay that into: Come look at the redwoods!" he said. "If you think our pot will get you high, come look at the trees!"

Child May Be Lone Survivor in Libya Plane Crash

(CNN) -- A Dutch child is believed to be the only survivor of a passenger plane crash in Libya Wednesday that may have killed more than 100 people, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.

The plane was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew members when it crashed while trying to land at the Tripoli International Airport.

The boy was undergoing surgery at a hospital in the Libyan capital of Tripoli after the Afriqiyah Airways plane that left Johannesburg crashed as it neared the end of its flight.

The Dutch ministry said it had a representative at the hospital waiting to identify the boy, believed to be age 10. He apparently suffered bone injuries.

The president of the European Parliament said about 100 people perished, and Libya's state news agency said 96 bodies had been recovered.

Nicky Knapp, a representative of the Airports Company South Africa, provided the breakdown in the destinations of the passengers aboard: seven to London, 32 to Brussels, 42 to Dusseldorf, one to Paris, and 11 to Libya. She was speaking on behalf of Afriqiyah Airways.

The plane, an Airbus A330-200, was at the tail end of its nearly nine-hour-long flight when it crashed.

"We express our sincere regret and sadness on behalf of the airline. As well, we would like to express our condolences to the relatives and friends of those who had passengers on Flight 8U771 destined for Tripoli late last night, due to arrive around 6 o'clock this morning," she said.

Calling the incident a tragedy, Jerzy Buzek, the president of the European Parliament said "some 100 people have died no doubt from many countries around the world."

He said the child's survival "given this tragic event, is truly a miracle."

The Dutch Royal Touring Club said 61 of 62 Dutch passengers on the plane died.

A Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman said the government was trying to get more information about those aboard.

The British Foreign Office said it was looking into whether British nationals were on board the flight.

At the crash site, workers with surgical masks combed through the smoldering wreckage that spilled over a large area. A wheel lay atop a pile of bags. Two green airline seats sat upright and intact amid burned parts of the aircraft.

Officials recovered the plane's flight data recorder, which investigators use to piece together a flight's last minutes.

The Tripoli-based Afriqiyah (Arabic for "African") operates flights to four continents. The planes in the fleet carry the logo 9.9.99 -- the date when the African Union was formed.

The Airbus that crashed is one of three Airbus 330-200s that the airline owns.

New British PM Cameron Builds Coalition

He's a hottie, too! xP
London, England (CNN) -- Within hours of his appointment, Britain's new prime minister, David Cameron, immediately began forming his coalition government overnight, appointing several Liberal Democrat leaders to Cabinet posts along with members of his own Conservative Party.

Lib Dems leader Nick Clegg, who was named deputy prime minister, announced early Wednesday his party's agreement into entering such a partnership, saying, "I hope this is the start of the new politics I have always believed in: diverse, plural; where politicians of different persuasions come together to overcome their differences in order to deliver good government for the sake of the whole country."

Clegg sought to allay party members' concerns going into the arrangement.

"I am acutely aware that I carry your hopes and aspirations with me into this coalition agreement," he said. "I can imagine this evening you will have many questions and maybe many doubts about this new governing arrangement.

"But I want to assure you that I wouldn't have entered into this agreement unless I was genuinely convinced that it offers a unique opportunity to deliver the kind of changes that you and I believe in."

In addition to Clegg's appointment, a source from the Conservative Party said Conservative Parliament member George Osborne has been named chancellor of the exchequer and former Conservative Party leader William Hague has been appointed secretary for foreign affairs. Four other Cabinet posts will be filled by Liberal Democrats, Downing Street said.

Queen Elizabeth II named Cameron prime minister Tuesday night, shortly after Gordon Brown resigned, Buckingham Palace said.

Brown had said Monday he would step down as leader of his party by the fall, but he changed course Tuesday, announcing he was quitting his party post immediately. His party came in second, behind the Conservatives, in parliamentary elections last week, but no party won an absolute majority.

Cameron becomes the country's first Conservative prime minister since the Labour Party, under Tony Blair, defeated John Major in 1997.

Cameron echoed U.S. President John F. Kennedy's famous "ask not what your country can do for you" speech in his first remarks as prime minister.

He aims to build a society "where we don't just ask, 'What are my entitlements?' but 'What are my responsibilities?'... Where we don't ask, 'What am I owed?' but more 'What can I give?'" Cameron said.

"Those who can, should, and those who can't, we will always help," he promised, stressing freedom, fairness and responsibility.

"Real change is not about what government can do," he insisted. "Real change is when everyone pulls together, comes together, works together."

He also praised his Brown in brief remarks outside the prime minister's residence before disappearing into 10 Downing Street with his wife, Samantha.

Coalition governments are extremely rare in British politics.

The last time there was a "hung parliament" with no party holding a majority of the seats in the House of Commons was 1974. Coalition talks then between the Conservatives and Liberals failed, and a short-lived minority Labour government took power.

But Cameron said Tuesday he aims "to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats," saying it would be "the right way to provide this country with the strong, the stable, the good and decent government that I believe we need so badly."

The two parties would command a clear majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, but have a number of key policy differences.

Cameron said he wants "to put aside party differences and work together for the common good and the national interest."

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama called Cameron shortly after the new prime minister entered Downing Street, according to a statement from the White House.

During the call, Obama said he extended his congratulations and invited Cameron and his wife to visit the White House this summer.

"This historic election has been closely followed by the American people, and I have no doubt that the ties between our two countries will continue to thrive in the years to come," Obama's statement said.

Cameron's appointment ended nearly a week of uncertainty, since the Conservatives won 306 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons -- 20 short of a majority. Brown's Labour Party got 258, and Clegg's Liberal Democrats got 57.

Smaller parties got 28 seats, and one will be decided in an election later this month after one of the candidates died during the campaign.

The results set off a round of haggling, first between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, and then between the Lib Dems and Labour.

Brown dramatically announced Monday night that he would step aside as leader of the Labour Party by autumn. It was apparently an effort to clear the way for a deal between his party and the Liberal Democrats.

Though they have more in common ideologically with Labour than the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, after talks Tuesday morning with Labour, said they were going back to the Conservatives.

Brown then sped up his timetable, announcing he was quitting his party post immediately and resigning as prime minister.

His deputy, Harriet Harman, will lead the Labour Party until a leadership contest can be held, he told party activists.

In his brief resignation statement, Brown said he loved the job of prime minister not for pomp and ceremony but "for its potential to make this country I love fairer, more tolerant, more green, more democratic, more prosperous and more just."

Cameron is Queen Elizabeth II's 13th prime minister -- including Harold Wilson twice, for his two non-consecutive terms -- since she was crowned in 1952.

Beau Biden Suffers Apparent Mild Stroke, Doctor Says

Washington (CNN) -- Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden -- the son of Vice President Joe Biden -- has suffered what doctors believe to be a mild stroke, according to the hospital.

Biden "was admitted this morning to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware after having what we believe to be a mild stroke, according to a written statement from Dr. Timothy Gardner, medical director of the Center for Heart and Vascular Surgery at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware.

"He is in good spirits and talking with his family at the hospital. He is fully alert, in stable condition and has full motor and speech skills. We expect him to make a complete recovery."

Biden was scheduled to be transferred later Tuesday to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, "for further observation and examination," according to a statement from the vice president's office.

Biden was joined at the hospital by his wife and his father, according to an earlier statement from the vice president's office.

Biden, 41, was elected as Delaware's attorney general in 2006. He recently served in Iraq for one year as a captain with the Delaware Army National Guard. He was considered a front-runner to fill his father's former U.S. Senate seat this November, but in January he announced he had decided against a run for higher office.

Biden served as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1997 to 2002.

Biden graduated from the Archmere Academy in Wilmington, Delaware, the University of Pennsylvania and Syracuse University College of Law. He and his wife, Hallie, have two children.

Report: At Least 2 in Family Die After Sinkhole Swallows Home

[Update 9:59 p.m. ET] Two members of a family whose home was swallowed by a sinkhole were found dead Tuesday evening, officials said, CNN affiliate CBC reports.

The condition of two other family members was not available. All four members of the family were found in the basement of the home, Michel C. Doré, Quebec's associate deputy public security minister,told the CBC.

[Update 2:49 p.m. ET] The mud-caked dog of a Canadian family has been found in a sinkhole that swallowed their home, but searchers have found no signs of the couple and their two daughters, ages 9 and 11, CNN affiliate CBC reported Tuesday afternoon.

Yvon Desrochers, uncle of homeowner Richard Préfontaine, told CBC he fears his nephew and his family were in the home’s basement watching the Montreal Canadiens-Pittsburgh Penguins hockey playoff game Monday night when the ground gave way beneath the home, about 40 miles northeast of Montreal.

[Posted 11:07 a.m. ET] A Quebec family of four was missing Tuesday after a massive sinkhole swallowed their home, according to reports from CNN affiliates.

Authorities said the home fell 30 feet into the hole when it opened around 9:30 p.m. Monday. A couple in their 40s and two children, ages 9 and 11, were believed to be inside, according to a report by CNN affiliate CBC news.

The couple’s vehicles were seen outside the house and efforts to reach them by cell phone were unsuccessful, authorities told the CBC.

"We tried to reach them by phone, because the father always wears his cellphone on him," Quebec Provincial Police Sgt. Ronald McKinnis told CBC. "The firefighters heard the cellphone, but they weren't able to [locate] it."

The hole was about 500 yards long and forced the evacuation of five other homes in the town of Saint-Jude, in a rural area near the Yamaska River about 40 miles northeast of Montreal, CNN affiliate CTV reported.

McKinnis told the CBC that the hole was first reported by a truck driver whose rig fell into it Monday night. He suffered only minor injuries, McKinnis said.

Search-and-rescue dogs were being called in to help the search, according to a report in the Montreal Gazette, and a helicopter was circling the area looking for signs of movement.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Betty White Totally Looks Like ET in Drag

I'm sorry Betty, I love you to death but I had to!! Your look on that one spanish skit on the last SNL reminded me too much of ET.0=]

Betty White Totally Looks Like ET in drag

everyone please vote for my entry lol!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Vinyl Collection

The following are all the vinyls I've collected so far (I like to keep track of where I found them, also)..


ABC- How to Be A.. Zillionaire!
(Sally's Place, Westport, CT)

Peter Allen- It Is Time for Peter Allen- live 2 record set
(Goodwill, Milford, CT)

Asia- Asia
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


Joan Baez- Any Day Now
(Goodwill, Milford, CT)

Lucille Ball in Wildcat- Musical
(Goodwill, Milford, CT)

Bananarama- The Greatest Hits Collection
(Sally's Place, Westport, CT)

Blast Off (Compilation by K-Tel Records)
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

Blondie- Eat to the Beat
(Tag sale, Milford, CT)

Blondie- Autoamerican
(Tag sale, Norwalk, CT)

Blue Oyster Cult- Agents of Fortune
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


Carly Simon- Torch
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

Kim Carnes- Mistaken Identity (featuring Betty Davis Eyes)
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT)

Chicago- 17
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

The Cure - The Head On The Door
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT)


Duran Duran- Rio
(Joseph, Gift)

Duran Duran- Seven and the Ragged Tiger
(Joseph, Gift)


The English Beat- What is? The English Beat
(Albany, NY Record Shop)

Erasure- Circus
(Sally's Place, Westport, CT)

Eurythmics- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
(Sally's Place, Westport, CT)


A Flock of Seagulls- A Flock of Seagulls
(Albany, NY Record Shop)

Footloose- Motion Picture Soundtrack
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


Art Garfunkel- Angel Clare
(Goodwill, Milford, CT)

The Go Go's- Beauty and the Beat
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


Heart- Dreamboat Annie
(Rhinebeck, NY Thrift Shop)


Jefferson Starship- Spitfire
(Rhinebeck, NY Thrift Shop)

Billy Joel- Glass Houses
(Tag Sale, Norwalk, CT)

Billy Joel- 52nd Street
(Tag Sale, Norwalk, CT)

Billy Joel- An Innocent Man
(Tag Sale, Norwalk, CT)

Billy Joel- The Nylon Curtain
(Tag Sale, Norwalk, CT)

Billy Joel- Piano Man
(Tag Sale, Norwalk, CT)

Howard Jones- Dream Into Action
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

Howard Jones- One to One
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


Journey- Escape
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


Live Aid- Do They Know It's Christmas?
(This N- That, Thrift Shop- Poughkeepsie, NY)


Missing Persons- 4 Song LP
(Goodwill, Milford, CT)


New Order- Power, Corruption and Lies (2009 Release)
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT)


Oingo Boingo- Nothing to Fear
(Joseph, Gift)

Oingo Boingo- Skeletons in the Closet
(Joseph, Gift)

Oingo Boingo- Weird Science- 12" Version
(Joseph, Gift)


Peter, Paul, and Mary- Moving
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

The Police- Ghost in the Machine
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

The Pretenders- Learning to Crawl
(Sally's Place, Westport, CT)


Queensryche- Queensryche
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)


The Rolling Stones- Some Girls
(Tag Sale, Norwalk, CT)

Diana Ross- 20 Golden Greats
(Albany, NY Record Shop)


Simple Minds- Alive and Kicking
(Joseph, Gift)

Simple Minds- The Amsterdam EP

Simple Minds- Live in the City of Light
(Joseph, Gift)

Simple Minds- Sparkle in the Rain
(Joseph, Gift)

Simple Minds- Songs and Fascination
(Joseph, Gift)

Simple Minds- Themes for Great Cities (Defininitive Collection '79-81)
(Joseph, Gift)

Rod Stewart- Blondes Have More Fun
(Goodwill, Milford, CT)

Stray Cats- Built For Speed
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

The Styx- Pieces of Eight
(Rhinebeck, NY Thrift Store)


Talking Heads- More Songs About Buildings And Food
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT)

Talk Talk- It's My Life
(Goodwill, Norwalk, CT)

James Taylor- Hard Times
(This N- That, Thrift Shop- Poughkeepsie, NY)

Tears For Fears- The Hurting
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT)

Tears for Fears- Shout US & UK Remix Versions
(Joseph, Gift)

Tears for Fears- Songs from the Big Chair
(Joseph, Gift)

Thompson Twins- Into the Gap
(Saratoga, NY Record Shop)

Tom Tom Club- Tom Tom Club
(Albany, NY Record Shop)

Tom Tom Club- Pleasure of Love
(Albany, NY Record Shop)

Toto- Toto
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT)

Ultravox- Ultravox
(Johnny's Records, Darien, CT).


Xanadu- The Motion Picture Soundtrack
(This N- That, Thrift Shop- Poughkeepsie, NY)

XTC- Skylarking
(Rhinebeck, NY Thrift Shop)


Yaz- Upstairs at Eric's
(Rhinebeck, NY Thrift Shop)